Payton struggled with choosing Hill to start Sunday’s game against the Atlanta Falcons, with multiple players and personnel believing Winston should have been chosen to start, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports.
With the Saints reportedly expecting Drew Brees to be in his final year, Payton wants to see how Hill handles the starting role to evaluate the potential of the team rolling with the third-year backup long term, Schefter adds.
New Orleans placed Brees, who’s dealing with 11 rib fractures and a punctured lung, on injured reserve earlier in the week. The veteran passer is hoping for a Week 14 return but a longer four-to-five week recovery is also possible, sources told Schefter.
Winston will serve as the backup Sunday but has impressed many members of the team, leaving the door open for him to become the franchise’s quarterback of the future.
The Saints also have a lucrative reason for going with Hill after giving the versatile athlete a two-year, $21-million extension during the offseason.
Winston was also brought in during the offseason but signed a modest one-year deal for just $1.1 million. The former Tampa Bay Buccaneers signal-caller can also add more money to his deal with incentives tied to playing time, according to Spotrac.
Hill, 30, has spent most of his time in New Orleans as a dual-threat rusher and receiver. The former BYU product has four career rushing touchdowns as well as seven receiving scores.
Hill has just 18 career pass attempts and has yet to throw a touchdown.